Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rick Santorum’s Strong hold in the South: What does this mean for Mitt Romney’s campaign for the Republican Nomination?

Keywords or Terms: Deep South; Etch-A-Sketch; Evangelical Christians; Republican Alabama; Mississippi; Louisiana, Maryland; District of Columbia; Mormonism; and, Options before the Convention
Now, Republican Rick Santorum needn’t have to incentive voters in Louisiana that much; his message of social conservativeness, already resonates with many in the Bible belt. The Deep South love pro-life message and many of these residents, find it just too difficult to accommodate any man with a Mormon religious background. Religion has a special place in the life of southern residents; and any doubt about that was probably laid to rest with victories and voting culture in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Were Mitt Romney igniting the message of job creation in Louisiana, Republican voters residing in a state with unemployment two digits below the national average, weren’t going to be listening or buying. Their minds were made up knowing what kind of campaign Mitt Romney was leading and how they value Rick Santorum’s message. Their diversion from Mitt Romney’s campaign message was probably pre-confirmed in Alabama and Mississippi.
Now, where does Mitt Romney’s campaign go from here in the Republican nomination process? The latest results from Louisiana leads or exposés a compelling message that, Republican voters in the South are no fans of Mitt Romney as a Republican flag bearer. The Republican front-runner must understand and appreciate that it is going to take more than overzealous PAC support advert and an inconsistent message to win this group over. Unless he understands that, his campaign is probably moribund in the rest of the southern states. Conservative South hardly subscribes to an Etch-A-Sketch message; these are people who do business with trust and a hand shake for years; who believe a man’s word is as good as gold and live by that precept; these are people ready to go to bat for you, once they believe and trust you. To attempt to win over this group is going to take more than money, for in their own world, money has very little to do with this equation, in a campaign seeking their support and votes.
Extolling values conservative evangelical Christian are committed to is an intrinsic motivation for their support. Rick Santorum knows this as he was cress-crossing that state in the final days before voting in Louisiana. Values of honesty and dependability are deep rooted in the life style of the Southern voters. Etch-A-Sketch Campaign strategy is not a conservative element that Louisianan Republicans are willing to live with. But what other factors causes trepidation and fear among this Republicans: Romney’s willingness to easily abandon his position on many social issues. Interestingly, voters in Maryland and District of Columbia, the next phase of the fight for the Republican nomination may shy away from the deeply conservative evangelical religious values that have played very well in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Does this mean Mitt Romney is safe in Maryland and District of Columbia; or that Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich do not stand a chance in the next phase of the fight? Not necessarily; the campaigns drive to harvest support in the new phase of the fight, may depend on how Rick Santorum and or Newt Gingrich cast the Mitt Romney’s campaign. If these other aspirants are able to continue to hit hard at Mitt Romney as an inconsistent, undependable and unreliable flag bearer, he can end up loosing District of Columbia and or Maryland.
There are two different campaign strategy questions whose answers may enable Mitt Romney move his campaign forward: How can Mitt Romney undermine the stronger support for Rick Santorum in the past month? What if Conservative Republican voters choose to remain with Rick Santorum?
How Can Mitt Romney Undermine the Stronger Support for Rick Santorum in the past Month?
Rick Santorum has had great success in the month of March winning votes and support in Seven States in the Union. Reeling in his successes, Rick Santorum has been emboldened to soldier on until the August Republican Convention in Tampa Florida. He has generated a lot of support for social conservative values that has been absent in Mitt Romney’s campaign, either by design or omission. There are political pundits and strategists who associate Mitt Romney’s design or omission of social conservative message in his campaign as a strategy to help him with independent voters in the fall elections. Newt Gingrich has not been very far in delegate counts either; while not winning as many States as Rick Santorum; he has been acquiring delegates, no matter how minuscule, that will obviously deny Mitt Romney the golden number of delegates to win.
Today, Mitt Romney has to contend with surging Republican opponent(s). While not necessarily aggressive enough, measuring by the delegate counts in already contested states, the results of the delegate spread will remain damning, which ever way Mitt Romney looks at it. Now, it is  unfeasible seeing either the next two Republican aspirants acquiring the needed 1144 delegate counts before the Tampa, Florida Republican Convention. Further, if these two Republican Romney's opponents are vowing they are not going to drop out of the race; definitely, Mitt Romney has to find a way to wiggle away or break out of the bound that is preventing him from reaching the golden number of delegate in time. Unless he is able to find the solution(s) to undermine the surging performance of Rick Santorum and probably Newt Gingrich; it is very inevitable that a brokered or negotiated convention is in play, as long as the other aspirants refuse to drop out of the race.
To avoid a possible brokered or negotiated convention, Mitt Romney may want to make a Vice-Presidential offer to Rick Santorum and a cabinet position to Newt Gingrich. Now, this is assuming that these men are willing to subscribe to this offer. What this strategy offers Mitt Romney’s campaign are two folds: 1) Opportunity to harvest support from the South by dealing with his regional deficiency from that region of the country; since Rick Santorum is heavily favored in that part of the union; 2) Opportunity to muscle Newt Gingrich who has been excessively vocal in his campaign against Mitt Romney liberal Republican values. With this offer, Mitt Romney may be able to energize those members of the Tea Party who are strongly against his candidacy; and, who probably have sworn not to support his cause. For this latter group, a brokered or negotiated convention is probably what they will like. Their contention that a better conservative candidate but Mitt Romney is much superior for the Republican Party is probably indelible. To create passion and motivate this latter group to think otherwise or think in the interest of a much peaceful Republican Convention is one of the reasons for the current advanced proposal. Unless this burden of being a labeled North-Eastern Republican liberal, flip-flopper and Etch-A-Sketch presidential nominee is withered out before the general elections, it will be close to impossible for Mitt Romney’s campaign to do well.
How Can Mitt Romney Undermine the Growing Support for Rick Santorum in the month of March?
A tenet of political Insurgence campaign is: Voters are either motivated or not by the campaign message of an insurgent. An important distinction is found in how the prominent or far along aspirants’ message fails to mirror the insurgent. Voters are not necessarily looking for an ideal candidate; rather, they are looking for a prominent candidate that mirrors more of what they like, their values, their convictions, their reservations and more in a candidate they can carrel around for the general elections.
Voters are motivated to support a party's flag bearer, if he or she is found to be a team player, a candidate willing to accept that he or she has some deficiencies and is willing to change or accommodate others or change that will lead to the overall Party’s success. Part of the process of accommodating others or change is, bringing into the fold, his opponents or archetypes. This is often a hard pill to swallow for many front runners; and, in a political campaign that looks so embroiled with mudslinging and name calling, being found to be accommodating of others or a team player may actually be an advantage as it often goes along in benefiting the overall party’s campaign and success. Thus, the front-runner needs to swallow his pride and accept that there are qualities in other candidates, which he does not have.
In any given year of general election, aspirants experience various types of affronts and antagonisms that may ground their campaigns before it takes off. Some form of inconsequential factors, or past behaviors, have been known to sink a political campaign  and politician ambition. If in doubt, ask Howard Cain and numerous other candidates that have fallen on their sword because of their past behavior. Relentless antagonisms and or long-drawn out party nomination process are known to have harmed the chances of the flag bearer at long last. Now, there is no one advancing that the nomination process does not have to be competitive; as a matter of fact, a more competitive nomination process prepares better the ultimate party flag bearer in the general elections. However, when the nomination process becomes too long drawn out till all the possible qualities that the front runner has are turned to handicaps and the process is embroiled in a decapitation, then the essence of a long drown out competition is lost and the overall party’s chances are derailed or snuffed out.
Apart from other strategies allude to in the earlier part of the blog, Mitt Romney may explore outside or external rewards that will allow close aspirants to consider his lead as insurmountable. Excessive competition may trigger fear or compel other aspirants to enter into the kamikaze mode of mind as other aspirants feel a sense of despair from not being able to catch up with the front-runner. One or both of them may enter into a frame of mind of my way or the high way. They may work to completely destroy any chance that Mitt Romney may have in the general elections by damaging him to the point of no return. This is often fractal for the party.
The question for the party as a whole is simply this: At what cost? At what cost will the rivalry and competition among the aspirants damage the goal of the Republican Party: to get Democrats out of office. When a front runner focuses so much on his or her ambition at the expense of party’s unity in the general elections, the opportunity of loosing in the general elections, increases, and party’s image is damaged. The Republican front runner may want to consider the options as the campaign and fight among the aspirants continue to the month of June or as far as the convention date. What might happen if a brokered convention is inevitable is that Mitt Romney will end up loosing the general election, since he becomes a weaker candidate coming out of a brokered convention. What if the brokered convention is close to being personal and egregious, the flag bearer still looses, since the contention he comes out off, shows more blatantly his weaknesses and the disarray his party is in. The eye-sore from a brokered convention often leaves a black-eye on the ensuing candidate; a misfortune that time can hardly erase before the big competition.
The time has come for Mitt Romney to get into a negotiation and probably deals with the close up candidate(s) to the run for the required 1144 delegates. What might happen if Romney allows the acrimony between himself and the runner ups to fester? Most likely, the absence of a clear winner at the convention, a brutalized ego and ungrounded readiness to contest against Democrats! What Mitt Romney or any other candidate bearing the Republican flag has to bear after a brokered convention, is the weight of uneasiness, a highly marginalized status, an inability to caress together all likely supporters, even among Republicans who may have held their nose as they go about voting for him, simply because he becomes the default party’s nominee. A deal between Mitt Romney and other aspirants before the convention has the likelihood of elevating the true meaning of party cohesion and commitment of all likely voters in support of the party’s ethos to achieve the required energy and vitality to improve performance in a general election. For now, the choices are out there for front runner Mitt Romney to consider!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Romney's Victory in Illinois and the Future of Republican Nomination Process

Keywords or Terms: Mitt Romney; Rick Santorum; Newt Gingrich; 1144 Delegates; Republican Convention; Inconsistencies and Flip-flopping; PAC's, Motivating Factors; Tea Party; Republican Party; Reagan; and November 6th Contest.

For Republican Candidate Mitt Romney, three straight wins against his competitors, is a sure guarantee that his candidacy is speed bound for the November contest. The wins in Puerto Rico territory and Illinois State for Mitt Romney have been rather convincing to skeptics in the Republican Party. However, among his fellow aspirants, especially Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, the fight for the nomination is not over; and, the next contests, in Maryland, Wisconsin, Washington DC, Louisiana and Pennsylvania are the impending crossroad for all Republican candidates.

In a contest of distributed delegates based on vote count, claims for superior performance based on acquired number of delegates do not justify a call for other contestants to drop out of the race. Mitt Romney’s call for other Republican candidates to drop out of the current race for Republican nomination could at best be likened to political jiujutsu or strategy to unnerve opponents. The true nature of the delegates’ spread so far, may justify Romney’s claim as a front runner for the Republican Party nomination, but hardly denies other candidates the opportunity to remain in the race until, one of the aspirants reaches the 1144 delegates required for nomination as the party’s flag bearer, or personally chooses to drop out of the race. The current disdain from Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich for the lop-sided spending of Romney’s PAC in many of the states already contested, may not solely be assigned to envy of Mitt Romney’s campaign's successes; rather, it may have to do with personal principle and conviction that they have something better to offer the party; and hence the nation, if given the opportunity to be the party’s flag bearer for the November contest.

What engages and or motivates support for any candidate in a field of contestants are never truly known in political canvasing. It could be for a number of reasons, which in some cases, are better described as hypothetical, since some of the reasons serve as Waterloo for other candidates in the race. In a field of contestants, the challenges are often to present a case for a biased position that any voter or supporter feels more attuned or comfortable with, given each voter’s circumstance and position on several issues. Interestingly, we have heard from exit polls in states and territories where primaries or caucuses have been completed, that a demographic group supporting a candidate in one state may reject the same candidate in another. For example, the demographic group supporting Rick Santorum in Alabama and Mississippi rejected him in Illinois. The same can be said of Mitt Romney, the demographic group of voters who found his message as representative of their position in Illinois, handily rejected him in Alabama and Mississippi; and if polls are to be believed, the upcoming primary in Louisiana may just be one for Rick Santorum to loose as he is far ahead of other aspirants in that state. In other words, the social conservative message of Rick Santorum resonates well with southern voters; while Mitt Romney’s self-reliance doctrine is welcomed by moderate Republicans in some Northeastern states.

What about the primaries or caucuses in Maryland, Wisconsin, Washington DC, South Dakota or Pennsylvania? Well, the competition is still on and no one can adequately say this is how the results in those states will turn out. Essentially, these are realities that pose challenges for all Republican aspirants, as each one has to earn his stripes to carry the state or caucuses that are in play. Just as Romney’s campaign advisers and strategists are as concerned with the potential loss of contests in subsequently completed primaries and or caucus, so are the campaign advisers and strategists for Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. To effectively assess support for any candidature at any one time, there are tons of variables that must be considered; including the ability of an aspirant to tailor a receptive message to potential voters. If there are going to be a well known or worn path to success for nomination, many aspirants would have traveled it, not withstanding the stress. Additionally, many aspirants are often willing to put in extra ordinary effort if that will lead them to winning the nomination. Probably, that is why there are these contestations and unwillingness to accept Mitt Romney as the most likely nominee by other contestants in the race.

Effectively, the current trepidation or reservation from other Republican aspirants regarding Mitt Romney front runner status, is the fact that there are over twelve more states’ contests that the competition may run to the wire just as it had in Iowa. Results from those forthcoming contests in other states, may deny Mitt Romney the required number of delegates to seal the nomination before the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have indicated that they have no plans of dropping out before the convention, putting the odds of a negotiated convention at more than fifty percent, if there is no clear winner of the required 1144 delegates before the Republican's convention. The understanding of this strategy or position of holding out till the end, may be found in the conviction that all candidates must be given the opportunity to canvass for votes until the time of the convention, no matter what, except each chooses otherwise. 

There are 95 delegates for grab in the next contests, Maryland, Wisconsin and Washington DC; not counting outstanding delegate in Louisiana. As of today, the Delegate spread for the Republican candidates are as follows: Romney - 563; Santorum - 263; Gingrich - 135 and Paul - 51. An uncanny analysis of the delegates spread may give Mitt Romney an edge; however, no one can ascertain that at the end of the day, Mitt Romney will have the required number of delegates to forestall a negotiated convention. According to his opponents, Mitt Romney has failed to connect with the greatest number of the Republican base, many of whom may refuse to support him in a general election. Within the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party, the fact that Mitt Romney may become the party’s flag bearer is nauseating, because to this group, Romney is a flip-flapper, without a personal vision of what his candidacy is all about. Many moderate Republicans, who are in support of Mitt Romney, will like him to focus or refocus his campaign message on the poor state of the economy in general, in order to improve his chances in the general elections. A few in this group are satisfied with the job Romney's campaign has done so far, except for some few snafus. For this latter group, Mitt Romney may be an imperfect candidate; however, he seems to be the better one in the group, who may be able to wrestle the White House from President Obama.

For many high flying conservative Republicans, the number of Romany’s delegates is more nuance and irrelevant considering the unreliability and falsehood about his message and campaign. There is real belief among this group that Romney hardly shares their reservation about the national deficit; and is considered relatively too moderate for their liking. In general, if Romney becomes the ultimate Republican flag bearer their concerns will still remain high on the convention floor; and if the whole Party membership shudders, there may just be a prize to pay. Among potential opposition points are the failure of Romney to explain out why his healthcare reform program in Massachusetts is now being denied; why Romney has consistently being found as lying about too many issues in his campaign; why the potential front runner for Republican nomination seems too detach from average Americans and their problems; and, why Romney has not been able to get over the country club persona.

Finally, the fact that many voters know that Romney lies so much with such a frequency, that even for a politician is abhorring, is considered food for thought. For example, Romney says Obama did not sign trade deals with other countries, but that is untrue. Obama signed many trade deals including one with South Korea. Romney says Obama doubled the deficit, which is also False. The office of management and budget disagrees with this assertion of Romney's. No matter how the party leaders may be pushing these issues aside, there are going to be a lot of work to be done by the candidate to convince the real conservatives and main stream voters in a general election, that these issues are inconsequential. What is more important to this group is the idea of upholding Reagan flamboyance of conservatism, which the  cannot find in Romney. They see Romney as shifting grounds every time on virtually everything with the intention of re-positioning himself for the general elections; and this is very unsatisfactory to this group. As one Republican Reverend and former State governor from Arkansas once said while running for the Republican nomination in 2008, if a candidate will lie to get nominated, he will lie when he gets into the office. If Candidate Romney cannot differentiate between the truth and fallacy while running for the Republican Party nomination, it will be difficult for him to make rational judgment on public policy without any special interest.

Friday, March 16, 2012

War on Women: Republican Aspirant Mitt Romney wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood!

Keywords or Terms: War against women; Reproductive and Health Rights; Planned Parenthood; Mitt Romney; Republican Party; Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act; Violence Against Women Act; Rick Santorum; Newt Gingrich

Republican war against women is heating up and it is not getting funny anymore. Here are some fascinating examples of how Republicans are taking the fight to women: 1) Mitt Romney, likely Republican flag bearer for the upcoming 2012 general elections, wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood, not withstanding that the organization is a private non-profit entity; 2) Arizona State and Republican Governor want women to justify use of birth control pills for purpose of health care; and 3) Pennsylvania Republican Governor wants women to watch the fetus in their uterus prior to any procedures. These current examples serve as fringe examples of what Republicans are unto regarding women health.

If you are a woman who is very interested in your reproductive health and other health issues concerning women, you may want to ask yourself this question: what do Republicans intend to achieve by their new assault on women and their reproductive health? You may want to ponder this question; because your ability to answer this question may help you resolve the puzzle: Is it out of religiosity? Is it out of a desire to undermine any governmental initiative that provides and protect women health and their reproductive choices? Are Republicans attempting to mortgage women’s health interests as protected in the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act? Republicans have been known to fight worker’s union protection, labor wages, and higher taxation; hardly have the party and its stalwarts, strive to undermine women interest aggressively as the Republicans are attempting today. You imagine that there are women Republicans who are concerned about the recent assault on women reproductive health; however, hardly are you finding this group of women speaking out loudly regarding how they object to the new, new thing, in Republican conservatism!

So, what should Republican women be doing now?

More than four decades ago, women sort to uphold their right to their own bodies, including making choices regarding birth control, use or non-use of the bra and other associated rights that were long overdue. Like other women, Republican women must now accept that change is inevitable; and more than ever, there is the need for Republican women to voice their opinion(s) regarding what contraceptives and other reproductive choices are doing for them and their friends in the Democratic Party; including why it is important for men to respect their right to make prudent choices regarding their reproductive health. Invariably, men, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, must be made to appreciate the pertinent nature of women reproductive tracts and why, except you are in a woman’s body, which close to ninety-nine percent of men are not, it is probably not wise to fight against public policies designed to help women live a better and healthier life.

As anyone faced with a difficult aggression from an outside group, who has hardly being in one’s shoes, women, Democrats or Republicans, must insist in no uncertain terms that, this new aggression from republicans will not be tolerated. If the Republican Party persists, especially among their party leaders, it behooves women, to stand up for their right and insist on their choices. Women, Democrats and Republicans, must insist that, when it comes to issues regarding their body and reproductive health, their allegiance to self comes first, not party affiliation. Democratic and Republican women must remind men, who have chosen to fight an unholy war against their reproductive rights: enough is enough! If the Republican leaders and their Congressional lawmakers persist, as is expected, the Republican women must be strong enough to assert their right and politely beg to disagree on this one: the newly found toy of conservative Republicans to upstage women!

Conservative Republicans and extreme right are often known to take position(s) that make many people wonder, if this group are living in the 21st Century or 13th Century? Conservative Republicans can hardly escape the kinds of mazes which women are being subjected to, regarding their reproductive choices in today’s media place. The extremism in the State of Arizona and some others, regarding women’s body, are food for thoughts, both for women and men. In the current brouhaha regarding insurance coverage for women’s contraceptives under the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act, the debate has actually shifted from the narrow definition of women reproductive health to one of sexual abstinence, a choice that men can hardly tolerate. Perhaps, men should be reminded that it takes two to tango. Bad mouthing women choices to use birth control or contraceptives to help pace child birth, manage better menopausal problems or address issues regarding women health, is not only retrogressive, it is politically uncivil. These new detractors that the conservative Republicans have just stumbled on, may actually lead to ultimate disintegration of an already tattered Republican Party. If Republicans doubt this assertion, I challenge them to continue on the path of telling women what they can do and not do, with their bodies.

Moreover, perhaps Conservative Republicans may want to think twice before continuing on their path of destruction. The course and character of women may be impinged when conservative men continue to knock women down with derogation comments that are very despicable, even for other cautious Republicans. Instead of wasting their time and arguments over whether women should have health insurance coverage for their contraceptives, it may be wiser for Republicans to concentrate on issues regarding the under-performing economy, rather than the women body. It is better for the Republican Party or those extreme rights among them, to accept things the way they are, regarding women health status, rather than beating on the dead horse through unconscionable pronouncements or political voyeurism.

Now imagine the current affront on the extension of the Violence against Women Act in Congress. Many congressional women, Republican and Democrat, are now speaking out against the attempt to marginalize women welfare. How do Republicans expect women to react, when they perceive a siege against their health and welfare? Do Republicans expect women to be stocked in the rot and accept that their health and welfare are secondary to party’s allegiance? Would Republicans want women to merely fall down and roll over or stand up for their interests? The November 2012 general elections results will offer the best answers to these questions.

So what should the Conservative Republicans be doing now?

Rather than simply waging war against women, the Conservative Republicans must adapt to the new reality in their party: the conservative wing of the Republican Party is currently turned apart like a fat man’s underpants. Neither Rick Santorum nor Newt Gingrich is lighting enough fire among the base; while Santorum may be making a headway among the truly or socially conservative, love for his brand of culture war is not attuned to the wishes of the generality of the base; and, the fiscal indiscipline and or probably marital indiscipline in Newt Gingrich, are making some in the party, burp. If Conservative Republicans are not totally in support of Mitt Romney; or, if they actually do not like his North Eastern liberality, why are they not finding a credible conservative flag bearer? If there is no credible conservative enough flag bearer among the current aspirants for the party’s nomination, why are the conservatives not working hard to lump their support behind either Santorum or Gingrich and move ahead in preparation for the November General elections, rather than settling for a candidate that all are saying, does not represent their values and understand their plight. Why are conservatives splitting their votes and allowing their personal preferences to be marginalized because of their extremism?

The current misadventure, going after women health or the violence against women act, is more of a side show that could easily be avoided. More than one third of women have experienced rape, assault and other domestic abuses; the extension of the violence against women act may be imperfect as some Republican lawmakers see it now, for its protection of immigrant women and women trafficked into the country for sexual trades or favors; however, this bill has passed before and zoomed though congress, with bi-partisan support, why are Republicans dead set against it this time around? When a female Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine is mystified about the new objections to the bill and is calling for an open debate of the bill, why are Republicans still insisting on holding back their support? How else should women construe this new recalcitrance or refractory from Republican lawmakers?    

At the core of Republican’s new aggression against women and their reproductive health  are the following observations: 1) A callous desire to turn the hand of the clock backwards on issues of women civil rights and reproductive health; 2) Refusal to accept that change has come and no one can rely on extremism views or position to deny women their basic rights to their bodies and welfare; 3) It is about time for Republicans to reassess their position on the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the insurance underwriting for contraceptives as this is a complete distraction in an election year; and, 4) Rather than being labeled a party of charlatans, it is now time for Republicans to quit the fear mongering tactics and work within the law to advance the welfare of women, rather than continue to be difficult and unreasonable! For Republicans to find credibility among women and Americans in general, once again, it is time to support and inspire support for the extension of the violence against women act and work hard to advance the goal of women rights to their body in modern day America.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Santorum tops Republican Aspirants in Alabama and Mississippi: Why a candidate's campaign message matters?

Keywords or Terms: Rick Santorum; Alabama and Mississippi Primaries; American Samoan and Hawaii Caucuses; Newt Gingrich; Mitt Romney; Southern Republican Voters; and, Alternative Strategy to win Conservative Republican Votes in the South

Today’s primaries and caucuses  in Alabama, Mississippi, American Samoa and Hawaii may serve as a wake up call to Mitt Romney; or a reaffirmation of the true and tested: A North-Eastern ‘Not-So-Conservative’ Republican can hardly do well with the blue color southern white voters. As such, Santorum’s message of social conservativeness is perhaps more attuned to this group; and probably resonates better. The disaffection for Mitt Romney’s brand of conservatism serves as a challenge for his campaign managers and political advisers or undertakers; and, will remain as such, except the team(s) is able to salvage Romney's brand in the South.

For now, not only do Santorum’s successes in Alabama and Mississippi primaries highlight the suspected missive by pollster regarding the deep south, they give Mitt Romney another opportunity to think about his options if he is going to tie up the Republican nomination soonest; and, work the ropes to garner the support of Republican voters in the south. Further, the possibility of shared caucuses’ results from American Samoan and Hawaii will open up another debate: Can a candidate’s religion play into politics and vise- verse? There are a number of Mormon voters in both American Samoan and Hawaii and this may give Mitt Romney an edge over his closest competitors; however, this hardly guarantees that he will take home all the delegates from these states. In addition, the results of primaries from Alabama and Mississippi indicate that Newt Gingrich campaign for the Republican nomination is moribund, if even he does not want to believe it.

Overwhelming, southerners in Alabama and Mississippi voted against Mitt Romney. The lackluster message of Newt Gingrich, who lost two States close to his home state, Georgia, is a narrative that says, Santorum stands a better chance to win the Southern voters than Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney. Did I hear a brokered Republican Conventions? Probably not, but there are some rough roads ahead for Mitt Romney and it may just be difficult for him to tie up the nomination before the convention in Tampa, Florida. The reality is, the Southern voters are unwilling to vote for the ultimate Republican nominee for whatever reason that is out there. These group(s) of voters may choose to stay home and not vote in the general elections either as a protest or because they still hold ingrained hostility to Mitt Romney's candidacy. The sentiments that remain true today is, the Southern White, blue color workers, who make less that $30,000, are very pragmatic and vote populist Republican. This group will present the greatest challenge for Mitt Romney all over the nation, just the way this group has been tonight in the south.

Santorum’s campaign successes are perhaps better than Mitt Romney with voters in States like Kansas, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi because of the resistance of Republican voters who perceive Romney as a rich kid with Harvard law degree, who is faking the perception that he is one of them when in actual fact, he is far away from this group in terms of the reality of everyday life. The inhibiting variables for Romney's candidature among this group is not limited to his wealth, there is the possibility that this group hardly share a conviction in Romney’s religion or political message. The passive resistance to Mitt Romney can be found in the missive that he is less ideologically conservative enough for them.

Yes, the results in American Samoan and Hawaii may be more favorable to Mitt Romney because of the larger Mormon residents in American Samoan or Hawaii, but the same has impeded him somewhat in those southern states he has lost. Religion affiliation still matters with group(s) of voters in the South, no matter how anyone will like to paper over it. The South has moved more to the right than any political strategist, candidate or campaign manager may have envisaged. To corroborate this arguement, there are some of these Southern Evangelical Conservative Republicans who still believe that President Obama is a Muslim, which he is not; and some of them who are still singing the 'birther's  doctrine', President Obama was not born in the United States of America, a far cry from the truth and reality.

What is the heart of the matter for Romney’s loses in the South as of today? The actual reason or meaning depends on what strategy his campaign follows henceforth: either gets into mud-sling once more in order to overcome Santorum’s current resurgence and popularity; or, stick with his previous strategy and accept the fact that he is not a favorite of some Southern Republican voters or or majority of Conservative Republican Americans. To regain the initiative, he may have to capitulate and offer some promises to the conservative voters all across the nation. On the other hand, Romney may choose to stay on his message, accept the fact that he is lackluster with many Southern Conservative Christians and select a southern politician that may bolster his position with this group or other Republican Conservatives across the nation who have issues with his conservative brand. Although it is already common knowledge that Mitt Romney is considered not much of a conservative with many Republicans in the Tea Party, a prototype of Southern Republican voters, his inability to connect with this group are not limited to the conservative issues, they are found in his record at Massachusetts and his flip flopping.

Mitt Romney has experienced a challenge since his success in Florida Primary. He has distant his campaign messages from fellow Republican competitors and directed them against President Obama. It may have been a great strategy if he was on solid grounds with all the Republican voters or majority of them, in different regions of the country; however, he has not been. This fact is borne out by the primary results from Alabama, Mississippi and other states he has lost to Rick Santroum. With heart and soul, Santorum has been able to perturb Mitt Romney campaign; because he represents the conservative wing of the Republican Party who believe Mitt Romney is too flaky. No one could have imagined that former Senator Rick Santorum would be the greatest hurdle to his nomination ambition about six months ago. It is now time for Mitt Romney to step back and attempt to show some understanding of the results from across the south: Money alone cannot buy a politician favor all the time! There are times that a politician must understand that a very bad night like tonight for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, is a teachable moment.

Mitt Romney’s inability to connect with the Conservative Republicans, especially with the blue-color evangelical group and or Tea Party faction, creates a doubt and makes supporters and donors of his, in at ease. Mitt Romney may not be able to reach the 1144 needed by the convention time, except he works more insistently and doubly on his campaign messages to the conservative Republicans, especially the evangelical Christians, and probably so with the independents. At first, Mitt Romney must find an alternative to his country club membership image; and, link his new choice of voter's attraction effort with some of the social conservative messages espoused by Rick Santorum, without necessarily encroaching on Santorum’s complete position on these issues.

Today, it is important to appreciate that Rick Santorum’s message resonates well with this group, who consider themselves true republicans. This new strategy will more likely allow Mitt Romney to connect to some of these conservatives who have received him with less enthusiasm. Further, he must implement a message that confronts Rick Santorum directly every time there is a contest henceforth. To ignore this reality, to continue to direct his weak attack on the President of the United States, may not be really as important as damaging the chances of Rick Santorum; for, if he does not receive the 1144 delegates needed before the convention, he may have to swallow his pride as he is subjected to a negotiated convention. In which case, he stops being his own man and his choices of support group to the general elections, including Vice-Presidential nomination and potential cabinet members are subjected to negotiations.

One method for challenging Rick Santorum is to route the candidate’s off-color comments on social conservative issues and actively manage his own press releases with fewer error of messaging. By ensuring that Rick’s comments are subject to scrutiny, he may be able to make Republican voters aware of Santorum potential vulnerability in a general election. There are uncertainties in Romney's current message that he is the only one with business experience out of all the Republican aspirants. While his assertion of business experience against other Republican aspirants may be true, it is not a panacea for success among some conservative voters, who are intrepid with having a Mormon in the White House. The graveyard of Presdiential politics are full of business executives, who have failed woefully in their effort to get nominated as their party flag bearer because they remained with a campaign message that can be easily torpedoed in a general elections; or fervently questioned in party's primaries and caucuses.

Another strategy is to create a prototype of Rick Santorum’s message and play it out on campaign downs or prompts and see how Conservative Republican voters react to this on the go. Transitioning to a more appealing candidate to group(s) who have stood in your way to the nomination, is not limited to spending a ton of money on advertisement; tweaking the message and addressing the concerns of these groups more truthfully, may just be the answer. Don’t attempt to pass yourself as a Southern Conservative Republican, because you are not and any attempt to portray yourself likewise, just falls flat as you have experienced in Alabama and Mississippi. Change maybe unsettling for sometimes, or in the interlude; however, something has to be done, for you to address the nagging successes of Rick Santorum that continue to make your campaign weak, if not disenfranchised in some regions of the country.

Finally, it is incumbent on Romney to address the credible challenge from Rick Santorum. His inability to nurture the desires of the so-called truly Conservative Republicans will continue to be a headache and minimize Romney's chances of avoiding a negotiated convention. Whether Romney likes it or not, Rick Santorum has established or launched a credible challenge to Romney's primacy as the front runner; and any further attempt to ignore this reality, is a potential problem for Romney's Campaign goal, henceforth.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Women Health and the Republican Attempt to Undermine PPACA: Implications for the 2012 Presidential Election

Keywords or Terms: Women Health; Republican Party; Conservatives;  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA); Women Right; Reproductive Health; Civil Right; War of Sexes; and 2012 Elections

There should be no illusions about the sort of women voters that the Republican Party is destined to face come November, 2012. There would be no trepidation, no second thoughts, as throngs of women decamp from supporting the Republican Party and their candidates. A party that is hell bent on destroying the only health care reform in America in over half a century, whose leaders could care less about derogatory comments about women and their health, a party whose members probably tacitly subscribe to the position of Rush Limbaugh on women reproductive health, must be prepared to bear the brunt of the wrath of millions of women, who consider the issue regarding their body, an important aspect of a modern day life; a civil right that has been fought by millions of women in the past and which few women are going to tolerate, if eroded or attempted to dishevel by anyone. No accommodation would be given to any candidate seeking office, who seeks to undermine any protection in the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Many women are frustrated; feel undervalued and probably insulted, from the current aggression from the Republicans over women reproductive health. Many progressive women believe that their current status as productive members of the American workforce, is being undermined by a group or groups in the Republican Party, who believe they can begin to undo the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, by going after provisions in the law that protect women reproductive health. Some women groups insist there is no need to pay excessive difference to any party holder or aspiring candidate, who has any agenda in his or her repertoire, to undermine women reproductive health. Indeed, this is one time that over seventy-five percent of women are in agreement about not tolerating any conservative group, a huge number in the Republican Party, who are willing to turn back the hand of the clock on women reproductive health.

Above and beyond politics, the issue of isolating contraceptive insurance protection for attack by the Republican conservatives has galvanized some women groups together who until recently, probably hardly see eye to eye on social issues. Many American women believe that the battle over whether they could use contraceptives or not, has been settled in much legislation in the past sixty or seventy years. Contraceptive insurance protection has been no issue for American Health Insurance Companies; not because women had fought for this right; but because many of the health insurance companies consider this item as good business sense. For Republicans to now turn around and antagonize this benefit in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, characterizing this as public or social welfare from the current administration, is unconscionable, unacceptable and totally an affront on women reproductive health.
In the 1960s and 1970s, women groups fought decisively for their civil rights and millions of them believe that an issue regarding their reproductive health was part of this right. What then is the driving motivation from Republicans and their candidate(s) to want to undermine this right? Women have endeavored to work hard to ensure that many of those social issues that have prevented them from being part of productive members of society were addressed. Many women, who were unable to participate in the American labor force, who have since got to executive suites or power in many realm of American Industries are asking themselves, if they still have to check their back, to reassure themselves, that their effort is being counted and their natural reproductive rights would not continue to be a handicap, as they drive to shatter the glass ceiling. When women are denied contraceptives or perceive some phobias from men regarding efforts to preserve their reproductive rights under a public health law, they start to wonder, if their efforts to win the battle in the past has been appreciated; or, because of their complacency, their reproductive rights are under siege by conservative men, who cannot see women more than baby-making machines! 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the recent Obama’s Administration directive that contraceptive insurance protection must be recognized for all American Women, is not only a justifiable decision or right, it is the first step to a healthy society; if women are healthy enough, they are able to support their family economically and remain productive members of society. To put considerable power in men's hand over women health, to deny women reproductive rights and protection under public law, is not only retrogressive, it is an agenda that may end up in a war of sexes; which, from my very limited point of view, women are more likely to win, triumph and additionally counter wage a successful war against any politician or person subscribing to this crudeness. The new challenge from the extreme right, labeling health insurance protection for women under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, public welfare, is not only an affront on women health, it is a double war against a tethering Americans Economy. If women are unable to space their birth, if girls are unable to make choices over their bodies, then, no one can expect them to be as productive as they can be; or better prepared, effective and healthy members of society.

The apparent resurgence of war against women health, through the antagonism of health insurance coverage for contraceptives under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is an attempt to scale back women freedom. The sense of righteousness that the extreme right has regarding women reproductive rights, through their insistence that women abstain from birth control of any form, by denying them any opportunity to ensure that contraceptives and contraceptive insurance underwriting are available, now questions the authenticity of many of these conservative groups’ support for women right. To the conservatives, the contraceptives insurance protection under the Patients’ Protection and Affordable Care Act is synonymous to welfare, although there are several components of the law that protect men reproductive health, as well. Are women still a second class citizen? Is it alright for men to have their vasectomy operations insurance underwritten under the PPACA, while women are subjected to Republican harassment in their desire to have contraceptive insurance underwritten under the same law ? Thus so far, the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act, is delivering many health insurance protection services to Americans, or will be very soon; however, the recent negative reaction from republicans is tantamount to subscribing to retrogressive status for women reproductive health. 

The new campaign from the extreme right against women contraceptives’ insurance is a deeply flawed strategy to undermine the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act. There are those, if only out of support or empathy for women in their lives, regarding this issue, will vote against any politician, Republican or Democrat. Others may see the extreme right’s effort on this issue as an attempt to subjugate women and their health to indiscriminate abuse by health insurance executives; and or, second class consideration. The effort is considerable another ploy to strip women of one of their civil rights, a right that has been hard fought for. Stripping women of their right to reproductive health for reasons of politics, is to be frowned upon, and any politician who does not see the derogatory comments by Rush Limbaugh as offensive, or one that provides lukewarm statement that, those choice of words by Rush Limbaugh, wouldn’t be their choice, definitely has issues with standing up for women right. No woman must believe that such politicians would protect their rights under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or any law for that matter; this is the reason, many women must turn out to vote in November, 2012, and vote their interest. No woman must allow her body to be used as a political football; and no woman should entertain any politician that considers her reproductive health, secondary to a man’s. 

With the current right wing campaign against women health, few women can believe that the current affront will subside; or similar mischievousness will not be perpetrated once Republicans get into power. The new campaign from the conservative right on women health, either by design or by default, is a step that may lead to erosion of other rights endowed women. Arrays of provisions in the Affordable Care Act, including contraceptives coverage under the law, are designed to help improve women health and cut health care costs. The questions for the far right who are fighting these provisions are these: Do women deserve the same right under any federal law as men? Are women enjoying any benefit from contraceptive insurance coverage that put men at a disadvantage? Do men directly bear additional financial stress from insurance companies’ underwriting of women contraceptives? If answers to the last two questions are yes, then the antagonists must be forgiven; if otherwise, there is no reason to believe that this group(s) is concerned about the overall welfare of women.  To make a mistake and vote this people's choice of Republican flag bearer into the highest office in the land, is to tolerate a malign doctrine and subject women right to secondary consideration. To settle for a second class status on women health or any other right, is to break with the history of progressive thoughts on women health and to turn back the hand of the clock on women health and welfare.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Energizing the Base: When President Obama holds a Press Conference while Republican Aspirants duke it out in Ten States?

Keywords or Terms: POTUS; Press Conference; Republican Primaries and Caucuses; Mitt Romney; Rick Santorum; Newt Gingrich; Ron Paul; Delegates; Political contributions and Money; Political Strategy; Iran; CNN; Alaska; Massachusetts, North Dakota; Ohio, Virginia; Vermont, Oklahoma, Georgia; Tennessee; and Idaho

Volumes have been written about Republican Primaries and Caucuses since November 2011. Discussions regarding strategies, failures and triumphs of many of the Republican aspirants have been exciting, dull and sometimes, downright discouraging and exasperating. Truthfully, some of the contests in already decided states indicate that the battle for the Republican nomination is not as clear cut as many political gurus had predicted at the beginning of the contest. The overwhelming perception that the current slate of Republican candidates has not given many Republicans the needed excitement in their nomination process, has made some voters, even ardent supporters of conservative Republican values, to rethink again the feasibility of a win come November 2012, if their party fails to get it right.

Why a Presidential Press Conference on a day like this? Well, who knows? Aspiring Republican candidates for their party’s nomination find themselves having to be second or taking a backseat to President Obama’s first time press conference this year. Democrats applaud the President for drawing attention to imminent issues, or dangers, from the suspected rumbling in some quarters regarding the possibility of a war with the nation of Iran. Republicans say this Press Conference is not coincidental but usual politics; an affront to their effort to choose their prime candidate for the November, 2012 context. Democrats insist that the issue of Nuclear Iran, spiking costs of domestic fuel, and the nagging Israeli Prime Minister concern for a potential strike on the Islamic State, are worthy of consideration at this time; and the fact that the President is having this Press conference is an indication of how the President is concerned about the welfare of Americans.

President Obama sees the huge Super Tuesday contests among Republicans, an opportunity to remind the voters that Democrats are around and are deserving of all the attention or love they can get this season. It is an opportunity for Democrats to energize their base. Republicans may hate the supposed intrusion, but how else can Democrats halt the love for the Republicans in this season. By the time all the trending political news and election results are in for the Republican primaries and caucuses tonight, the so much desired excitement for the Republican contests might still remain elusive. For now, what is known is far from the unknown; and, preliminary results from across the ten contested states as tracked by CNN, indicate that Romney seems to be ahead of the delegates’ harvest, with likely spread showing Romney wins in thirteen states, with 396 delegates; Santorum wins in seven states with 158 delegates, Gingrich wins in two states with 103 delegates and Ron Paul harvesting 60 delegates, without a single state victory.

In the eye of Democrats, the Republican contests have been lackluster; and it seems rather difficult for any of the aspiring candidate to build that solid fellowship and or conviction needed to win in a general election. The Republican Party’s goal had been producing the front-runner candidate very soon and coalescing around that candidate, building the required steam to jump ahead of the Democratic Party's choice of flag bearer. Unfortunately, the required drivers, consistency, charisma, unflinching momentum and derisive message from the potential Republican flag bearer had not pattered out. Mitt Romney’s candidacy has been anecdotal from what conservative Republican wants; and, Rick Santorum that could have been a more likely substitute, has been lacking in funding and national campaign infrastructure to do real battle with Mitt Romney.

The primary and caucuses contests in Ohio, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Idaho, North Dakota, Virginia, Alaska, Georgia, and Vermont, show how deficient Rick Santorum has been with shortage of funds; he was outspent in some of these states, twelve to one, on advertisements, canvassing and pulling likely voters to his message. While some voters like his social conservative message, without money, it is difficult to get that same message to a larger number of people who are willing to leave whatever they are doing to go vote for a candidate whose message they may be endeared to. The old adage that money is the life blood of political campaigns is just as credible today as it was a century ago. Without money, hardly can a candidate build enough support for his or her candidacy, even if his or her message is endearing or enameling. What Rick Santorum is suffering here is not completely the rejection of his social conservative message; rather, it is his political campaign blood anemia. If he really wants to turn this contest around, huge donors have to step up to have his back; without which, there may just be too little for him come the convention in Orlando, Florida.

The resulting message from the Republican contest to Democrats, is that the fight in fall 2012, may not be a cake walk due to the campaign funds available to Romney from the Super PAC and probably the RNC; however, if Mitt Romney continues to be unconvincing to the conservatives in his party, the Democrats may just take advantage of this loophole and walk all over him and his campaign. President Obama’s reelection campaign team maybe asking themselves the question, how can we exploit this weakness in the potential Republican nominee, how can we reposition our campaign to solidify our base and manage voters apathy over the economy, and how can we make our candidate capture the essence of the Romney’s weakness or weaknesses. What is very obvious now is that there are huge numbers of Republicans who are dissatisfied with the likely nominee and find themselves rather disenfranchised with a flag bearer they hardly believe in, one that hardly represents their position, one that looks more aloof or intrepid than friendly, even to those who are supposed to be like him, the true Republican.

President Obama’s Press Conference today delivers feedback quickly; his choice and campaign strategy will involve taking the fight to the Republicans, arguing and standing by his achievements and policy successes in the past three plus years. POTUS will do damage to Mitt Romney if he ever attempts to fight for the White House on the basis of Obama’s foreign policy; he will probably snuff Romney’s campaign out, if Romney chooses to debate the President more than twice; for Obama is an avid debater with the strength of use of words and valor of contextual messaging in moments that can rouse his supporters, some say catch fire with his base and incinerate his opponents. It is not that Obama is a great debater that could be disabling to Romney, it is the fact that his supporters love him, much as some of them have some reservations about his handling of the American Economy, they are still true believers, who are able and willing to go to bat for him. President Obama is better loved by his supporters than Mitt Romney is with the Republican base. If truth is to be told among Republicans, there are about forty percent of likely Republican voters who cannot stand Mitt Romney and who probably believe that another Republican candidate is much preferable. This is the real dilemma with Mitt Romney’s candidacy; and, this is hardly a problem for President Barack Obama among the Democratic voters.

President Obama invited the Press to come and listen to him on a day that is supposed to be a huge day for Republicans, and a throng of men and women in the Press showed up in the East room or wing of the White House. When one of them asked the question, what he will like to say to the Republican front runner regarding today contests, all he said was: Good luck tonight! This is probably more than words can convey; here is Mitt Romney fighting a life and death battle in the State of Ohio with Rick Santorum, being wished the best of luck by the President of the United States, his potential nemesis. If Mitt Romney survives Ohio, he’ll probably not forget the bruises. Some political gurus indicate that the overall eleven states battles will better prepare Mitt Romney for the future fight with the Democratic leader; however, who can really tell? This is a candidate that is very used to gaffes, like my wife has two Cadillac, one probably to drive to Bloomingdale or Gucci store, the other, to the Mormon Temple (the last few words, mine)! His gaffes make him come across as a rich man born with silver spoon in his mouth, and who could never appreciate the plight of ordinary Americans. These are perfect flaws that President Obama can play on to ring to kingdom come, why Mitt Romney is only campaigning for the White House out of his interest to preserve his rich friends and class at the expense of poor Americans. That is a debate and fight that POTUS is ready to have and one that he has indicated in more than one way, in his ‘Good luck message to Mitt Romney’ at today’s Press conference.

President Obama is gradually energizing his political base; and one way, is to have a Press Conference in the middle of a Republican Party primary; or, on a day that is supposed to be huge for Republican candidates seeking to wrestle from him the keys to the White House. He is sharing the results of his initial stewardship or efforts in the White House with his political base and reminding them of what is to come, the future challenges that they must work and walk with him to overcome as he fights the battle with Republicans who continue to denigrate women as sluts and prostitutes, because they seek what is probably old news in women health: that over 95% of women use birth control pills at one time in their life time. That Republicans are choosing to be on the wrong side of history with regard to women’s health, may just be the worst news for their nominee. Hopefully the events of last week with regard to the conservative radio show host, Rush Limbaugh, comments have taught Mitt Romney and his campaign strategists some lessons. If not, they would probably go back home to mama crying with their marbles, come the end of the general elections!